Coca-Cola upped its production of plastic drink bottles by more than a billion between 2015 and 2016, bringing the total number of bottles manufactured during that time to 110 billion, according to an analysis by Greenpeace. Coca-Cola, which is responsible for more plastic bottles than any other company, said in July that it intended to increase the amount of recycled plastic in its bottles to 50 percent by 2020, reports The Guardian.
On average, food companies improved their management of water by 10 percent compared to 2015, according to the report Feeding Ourselves Thirsty, published by the nonprofit investor coalition Ceres.
In "the opening shot of 2017," health advocates filed suit in federal court in Oakland, Calif., accusing Coca-Cola and the trade group American Beverage Association of deceiving consumers of the health risk of sugary drinks and saying there was no link between sugar-sweetened beverages and obesity, says Quartz. Coca-Cola said the lawsuit was "legally and factually meritless."
"At a time when public mistrust of science runs high, and non-experts are hard-pressed to separate fact from industry-sponsored spin, Sense About Science, a charity based in London with an affiliate in New York, presents itself as a trustworthy arbiter," says Liza Gross in FERN’s latest story, "Seeding For Science,” which was co-produced with The Intercept.
The American Beverage Association, a soda industry group, said it will suspend payments to health experts speaking against soda taxes on social media, said the Associated Press.
The consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest says the two major U.S. soft-drink bottlers, Coca-Cola and Pepsi, and the trade group American Beverage Association "have spent a minimum of $67 million since 2009 to defeat soda taxes and warning labels in 19 cities and states." Four cities will vote on local soda taxes on Nov. 8, and there are published reports in Chicago that the president of the Cook County Board is looking at a tax on sugary beverages.
The UN International Labor Organization estimates 3.5 million people around the world work in forced labor conditions in agriculture, including forestry and fishing, says Civil Eats in a story on slavery in the food chain. "This means that forced labor has played a role in the supply chains of many of the most popular food and drinks."
European chemical companies have revealed plans to develop plant-based plastics for Coca-Cola bottles and Danone yogurt cups, says Reuters. One of the firms, Avantium, will announce an initial public offering (IPO) this week to help fund a new production facility for the material, which it is co-producing with Germany's BASF, the largest chemical producer in the world.
Vermont broadcaster WCAX-TV says Coca-Cola, the largest soft drink company in the world, "is advising stores that some of its products, like individual cans and bottles, will no longer be available" when the state's GMO food-label law goes into effect on Friday.